Re: Seely's Views 2

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Fri Sep 03 2004 - 16:17:26 EDT

Just to sort of capsulize ...what should God use in the way of
vocabulary to describe phenomena and mechanisms for which we have no
present understanding, perhaps not even a philosophical framework for
same? JimA

D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

>On Thu, 2 Sep 2004 21:00:34 -0500 "Glenn Morton"
><> writes:
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. []
>>>Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 3:19 PM
>>>In response to your first question, we don't know. We're
>>But God isn't finite. Why can't he simply tell a true history. Why
>>he have to tell something that we can't count on as being true?
>>little power a god like that has.
>>Even with the kind of proof in math and logic,
>>>"truth" is at best conditional.
>>I understand Godel's theorem.
>>We recognize truth as an
>>>absolute standard which we hope to approach. But truth is a
>>>requirement for knowledge. So knowledge can only be to the
>>>best of our ability (and hope). The only way out of this that
>>>I have found is the declaration, "I'm right [which implies
>>>holding only the truth]! And if you don't believe I'm right,
>>>ask me, and I'll tell you how right I am." Of course, most
>>>people holding such a view do not state it
>>>publicly: it's a tacit commitment.
>>That isn't truth in my opinion. What you have described is
>>Truth is when you and I look at the grass and agree that it is
>>And then other people come and look at the grass and agree with us.
>>Truth is when the vast majority of historians agree that there was
>>Roman empire. But God can't seem to tell a true story about
>>that all would agree with. I am always amazed at how little that
>>difference bothers some people.
>>>As to what part of revelation is imperfect, all of it with
>>>the exception of Jesus Christ,
>>Seems highly ad hoc to me. There simple is no cogent and coherent
>>that explains why that part is perfect but all the rest isn't.
>God is perfect, so he fully understands the history of creation and the
>nature of the universe. Therefore, according to you, he not only can but
>must communicate that exact knowledge to man. In what language will that
>be? How will the limited mind of a human being take that all in and
>remain human? Even our Lord had to empty himself to become human.
>On the other hand, why cannot the Almighty use what his creatures think
>they know at a given time to communicate his message that he is the
>creator and that the deities of the nations are bogus? I don't know
>enough about Babylonian math to know how large a number they comprehended
>2.6 or more millennia ago, but they probably would have found it
>impossible to understand 13.7x10^9 years, let alone the physics of
>nuclear synthesis during the first period after the Big Bang and its need
>to be supplemented by later synthesis of heavier nuclei in stars.
>Next point, I was not talking about Goedel's Theorem, which proved that
>one cannot prove the consistency of the logic needed to prove number
>theory, or its extension by Church to the lower functional calculus. I'm
>talking about such things as the Pythagorean Theorem or 4+4=8, the simple
>levels of geometry and number theory. The lowest level is conditional,
>not absolute.
>Finally, as to grass, some of our brethren, especially, are colorblind.
>Others have more subtly modified visual pigments. Additionally, the use
>of reflectance spectrometers has shown that very different combinations
>of spectra can produce indistinguishable sensations. Vision is inherently
>subjective. How do you know that what you have learned to label 'green'
>is the same sensation that I have learned to label by the same noise? The
>best we can do it measure visual pigments and determine that they are the
>same or different among persons. Then we assume that the sensations
>produced are identical if the pigments are indistinguishable. This is
>part of the faith underlying all claims to knowledge, as you note.
>By the way, how is your standard of agreement different than that of
>Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks who agreed that the sun is a chariot
>driven across the sky by the deity they name? They might differ on the
>name of the deity, but within each group they were certain. Across groups
>they probably held that it was just that they called the god by a
>different name. Does the fact that Jahweh did not straighten out the
>pagans along with Israel prove him incompetent, "of little power"?
Received on Fri Sep 3 16:38:51 2004

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